I finally saw Joker. I went alone. As a straight white male, I felt in character. I smiled and gave a head nod to the security officer that is never ever assigned to a specific screen but was directly in front of the door to screen 5. Two hours later, I realized why the entire media lost it over this film and concern trolled about everything from potential shootings to Gary Glitter royalties. Their bugman minds must have glitched in horror as the film unfolded.
“Har har Arthur is a loser. Oh my gosh, he takes care of his mom. He is goofy yet charming. What a sad story of her being a single mom. Glad the system had resources for Arthur. Absent father. No crap he went nuts with his dad abandoning him and his mom needing mental help. It’s great that killed that evil white shithead who turned on him. Why did he just say good little boys go werewolf, hold on the society makes these guys. He acts just like a, like a, like a mass shooter.”
The leftist film reviewers figured out that Joker could become a billion dollar film that explains how mass shooters are made. It is not the gun in the shooter’s hand. It is not just the shooter. It is the society that molds the shooter. Who is culturally dominant? Who takes delight in their ideas molding minds and their policies winning? The American left. This film forces everyone to think about the broken nation, cities and families that eventually produce these werewolves.
Can we make a check list for a mass shooter profile?
Mentally ill? Check. On multiple medications for mental illnesses? Check. Absent father? Check. Raised by a single mom? Check. Few if any friends? Check. Poor performance at school? Check. Spotty employment? Check. No girlfriend or lover? Check. On the spectrum? Check.
This is it. This is the film where everyone sees how this happens. Because of the film, we are disarmed. This is why Hollywood has been so effective in spreading progressive politics via casting and liberal tropes non-stop. All the mass shooter reaction posts are not there in the theater when you are watching this proto-mass shooter build up. The talking points deployed after a mass shooting , both pro and anti gun, are stripped away because we are watching a film. The progressive does not reflexively shout that Gotham should ban all guns. Instead they see how some mentally ill people will become violent. It all makes sense. You can see how the mass shooter forms. It is the residue of a broken society. There are 300 million Americans out there all part of the same open air asylum.
Some viewers have chuckled how the message is that just some more spending on social workers and medication would prevent this, but this is a superficial reading of the film. None of that therapy and none of those medications work. Arthur admits he only felt certain he existed after he turned to violence. Nothing was going to make up for a crazy mommy and an absent father.
That is the uncomfortable part isn’t it all. This is our societal stew. Illegitimacy and an adult male living with his sick mom who grew up in a broken home in ’81 is a bit anachronistic. It fits with our times much better. Crazy mommy described Adam Lanza’s mother. It describes a lot of single moms out there. It is difficult to find a mass shooter with a father in his life. Absent father in 1981 was not as common as it is today with our 40% illegitimacy rate and 40% divorce rate.
The American right talks about the breakdown of the family without offering any solutions because any solution would be impossible today. They lack the will even in the safest of red states. Forget paterfamilias when Wisconsin lawmakers get called horrendous names for wanting to limit the size of section 8 voucher recipient housing options. Breaking the family is too useful for the owners of society right now and will continue to be until their families feel the heat.
It lurks. It has to haunt them. This movie sparked a consensus of outrage at the excessive violence, which involved a grand total of six deaths of which three are in self-defense. The horror genre has devolved into gore porn with nary a complaint from the same reviewers. It was not the violence that irked them. It was those lines. You know them. Late in the film, Arthur is on television in full Joker uniform and is talking not just to the studio audience but America. He says the lines, “They think that we’ll just sit there and take it, like good little boys! That we won’t werewolf and go wild” and “what do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash“.
“You get what you fuckin’ deserve!“
The audience knows. Not the Arthur’s studio audience but us. We know we deserve it. We know these young men, meek quiet boys who go werewolf, are our punishment for crafting a society that allows families, husbands, wives, kids, and friends to be disposable. We have shrugged off the spiritual and emotional for the material and transactional. We feel it when a sibling gets divorced and we immediately think of our nieces and nephews, especially if it is just an only child. They are the living reminder of that failed relationship. Is he going to hide away in video games and online? Is she going to whore out when she hits puberty? We don’t have an answer. We don’t even have a united front when someone says they are pregnant out of wedlock by some idiot, abandons their kid or are getting ready for that frivolous divorce with a three year old asking why with big eyes. You get shouted down by your social circle like ugly version of a Greek chorus, “Don’t judge, don’t judge“.
Joker will make a billion dollars. By the end of its release cycle, maybe half a billion people will see it. We will all know deep down what we saw. We all know it but we cannot really talk about it. Even reviews are not touching it. That society wide cowardice enabled by cultural gatekeepers all too happy to gun grab whenever one of these shooters emerges will keep this blood ritual going. To their detriment, we finally have a cultural totem to share for the phenomenon.